Next Thursday California visits Oregon, and you know what that means?
Football? Nooo. Silly.
It means revisiting fake-injury-gate! Can I get a flop from the congregation!
Any Oregon fans know to what I am referring? I mean, you guys never bring this up or anything.
To refresh memories, in last year's surprisingly tight Oregon-Cal clash in Berkeley, a number of Bears clearly faked injuries -- some were poorer actors than others (Aaron Tipoti) -- in order to slow down the fast-paced Ducks offense.
Cal wasn't the first team to do this, and it won't be the last. But it became public that Bears defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi instructed his players to fake injuries. In other words, he lost the plausible deniability that other coaches had (yeah, talking to you Arizona State and Stanford).
And for that Lupoi was suspended for season finale at Washington by coach Jeff Tedford and athletic director Sandy Barbour.
Thinking ahead like all good beat writers do, Jonathan Okanes of the Contra Costa Times caught up with Lupoi to ask him about what went down last year. Lupoi, not unexpectedly, says he'd prefer to just leave it in the past and refuses to go into detail. But Lupoi, widely considered one of the Pac-12's best recruiters, also takes responsibility.
“Regardless if every opponent did it in the previous weeks, it doesn’t make it OK and it doesn’t mean that we or I can match the behavior of others,” Lupoi told Okanes. “Regardless of what everyone else is doing, it doesn’t make something OK.”
Lupoi tells Okanes, however, that he never heard a negative word about what he did afterwards. Perhaps Lupoi needs to spend more time on Addicted to Quack (but, really, don't we all?).
Lupoi ultimately describes the controversy as a learning experience:
“You always have to be thinking ahead. Every action you take, there could be a consequence involved. You have to evaluate every action you take. You have to be held responsible of your actions at all times.
“I’m moving on. The consequence was served and I took responsibility for what happened. The way this job works, you don’t have time to dwell on the past, good or bad. I think that’s where your focus has to be — living in the moment and trying to get better.”
Now Ducks fans, if a Cal player happens to get hurt next Thursday in Autzen Stadium, please don't automatically boo him. At least wait until you are 67 percent certain he's faking it.